Rangers 2 – 0 Dundee U

Rangers 2 – 0 Dundee U

Rangers continued their Europa League exploits with a 2-0 win over Dundee United to keep Celtic’s title celebrations on hold.

After clinching their place in the Europa League final, the Ibrox side knew they had to beat Dundee United to delay rival Old Firm’s title celebrations.

They dominated the first half but it was scoreless at the break as the hosts struggled to break down their well-organised opponents.

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Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst looks back on the 2-0 win over Dundee United and says he will continue to refresh his squad ahead of the Europa League and Scottish Cup finals

Captain James Tavenier opened the scoring from the penalty spot after goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist knocked down Fashion Sakala.

Amad Diallo impressed coming off the bench and doubled his lead after a fine pass from Sakala.

The win keeps Rangers six points behind Celtic with two games to go, despite their rivals having a far superior goal difference.

Rangers keep winning momentum

The euphoria of the 3-1 win over Leipzig still permeated the air in Govan, with talk of Sevilla’s final against Eintracht Frankfurt on May 18 being the main topic of conversation.

Surely there was no one inside the stadium who thought the title could realistically stay at Ibrox and the focus was on Spain.

Rangers fans brought their beach balls as they eagerly awaited their Sevilla final
Rangers fans brought their beach balls as they eagerly awaited their Europa League final appearance in Sevilla

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has revamped his squad with a first start for 18-year-old centre-back Leon King while Jon McLaughlin, James Sands, Steven Davis, Aaron Ramsey, Scott Arfield and Fashion Sakala have been reinstated.

United boss Tam Courts, whose side entered the game in fourth place, gave 18-year-old midfielder Mathew Anim Cudjoe a first start.

Midfielder Arfield, who signed a new contract on Saturday, played the false nine position as Rangers pressed Taysiders from the start, Sakala firing a good save from United goalkeeper Siegrist in the ninth minute with an oblique drive.

The Tannadice number one then made an even better save on Arfield’s close-range shot after the playmaker linked up brilliantly with Davis inside the box.

Rangers continued to probe and after the half-hour Sakala pulled back a pass from Connor Goldson in the air inside the box but went over the target 12 yards out.

Tavernier keeps his cool on the spot to score
Tavernier kept his cool on the spot to score

Ramsey then smashed a shot at the post just before the break but the offside flag had been raised.

Courts’ side had offered nothing in attack when referee Steven McLean blew for halftime.

Diallo, in place of Scott Wright for the start of the second half, made himself a yard space but fired a shot wide before Siegrist parried another effort from Sakala to safety.

However, moments later the Swiss keeper knocked Sakala to the ground as he came near the end of a pass from Ramsey and stepped up the infallible Tavernier to drive the penalty into the corner and put the hosts ahead .

Rangers captain, left-back Borna Barisic and Arfield made way for youngsters Alex Lowry, Charlie McCann and Adam Devine, the latter making his debut aged 19.

Amad Diallo scores to give Rangers a 2-0 lead against Dundee United
Amad Diallo came off the bench to double Rangers’ lead

Manchester United striker on loan Diallo had the ball in the net in the 69th minute, but the offside flag was up and there was no protest.

United still remained toothless but in the 74th minute a soft pass from Goldson moved Gers keeper McLaughlin sharply to prevent him from crossing the line.

Four minutes later, however, the points were certain when Sakala drove towards the United goal and played Diallo who cleverly clipped the ball past Siegrist and the home side could have added more as they dominated until at the final whistle.

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Dundee United boss Tam Courts admits his side were beaten by the better team as Rangers won 2-0 at Ibrox

And after?

Rangers are at home in Ross County on Wednesday night, kick off at 7:45 p.m.

Dundee United host Celtic on the same night, live on Sky Sports Football. This game starts at 7:30 p.m.

#Rangers #Dundee

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